Welcome to our live coverage of UFC Fight Night 89 from the TD Place Arena in Ottawa, Canada. The event is headlined by an interesting five-round fight in the welterweight division as former title challenger and #1 ranked Rory MacDonald takes on #2 ranked Stephen Thompson in a battle that could determine the next title challenger at 170 pounds.
In the co-main event, former lightweight title challenger Donald Cerrone takes on Patrick Cote in his second bout at 170 pounds.
Our live cageside coverage kicks off at 6:45 PM EST with preliminary action all the way thru the main card. Before it does, check out a few event-related features:
#10 ALI BAGAUTINOV (13-4, 3-2 UFC) VS. GEANE HERRERA (9-1, 1-1 UFC)
Round 1: Very cautious start to this one as both fighters were measuring the distance. Bagautinov’s round here with the only offence shown by Herrera was when he was on his back after a takedown. Bagautinov was going for a finish but couldn’t get past the guard and the defence of Herrera. Some solid kicks shown early by Bagautinov as well in the early stages of the round. 10-9 Bagautinov
Round 2: That was a much closer round than the first. Herrera got taken down early but got a nice triangle choke that Bagaitinov escaped from. Herrera scored a takedown very quickly after that but Bagautinov was able to go back into the offensive. Herrera was more offensive here but not enough here to score enough with the judges to give him this round. 10-9 Bagautinov
Round 3: Great head kick 90 secounds in by Bagautinov. First half of the round was just like the first with a brief standup display by Bagautinov followed by a takedown. Herrera was able to almost get a wrist lock submission but Bagautinov was able to escape. More of the same here with Bagautinov just going for a late takedown getting it stuffed but was able to score it in the late seconds. 10-9 Bagautinov
Official decision: 30-27 x 3 for Ali Bagautinov. “I think I fought very well. I would like to fight Jussier Formiga because he has turned me down three times.”
COLBY COVINGTON (8-1, 3-1 UFC) VS. JONATHAN MEUNIER (7-0, 0-0 UFC)
Round 1: Covington with a spin kick takedown combo which doesn’t completely work but Meunier does give up his back and Covington will not give up the position just holding on for 3 minutes eating up a lot of the round. Meunier finally able to spin out just as Covington scores a takedown with around 90 seconds left in the round. 30 seconds left and the referee stands them up for lack of action. Meunier and Covington spend the rest of the round gauging the distance. 10-9 Covington for Octagon control but Meunier’s defence here not allowing Covington to advance might get a judge or two to score it for him
Round 2: Both fighters are more aggressive here to start the round but within a minute Covington was able to get the back just like round one. Meunier had flashes of possible submissions here but Covington is able to get out and control the fight on the ground. Meunier only has 4 seconds of octagon control after two rounds. 10-9 Covington
Round 3: Spinning back fist stuns Meunier in the early seconds of the round which staggers him and Covington attacks with hammer fists to soften him, gets the back of Meunier and lands a rear naked choke for the finish
Official decision – Colby Covington gets a apout via RNC @ 54 seconds of R3. Covington says in the post fight interview that it doesn’t matter if it was GSP in the cage with him, no one was going to stop him from getting the victory here tonight which lets to loud boos from the crowd. Also "I went from fighting a 5’9 wrestler who I was going to stand and trade with to fighting a striker slash jiu jitsu guy. But that’s what fighting is about you have to adjust."
#14 RANDA MARKOS (5-3, 1-2 UFC) VS. JOCELYN JONES-LYBARGER (6-2, 0-1 UFC)
Round 1: Standup battle between these two to start, both not afraid to throw punches early. Markos able to clinch Jones-Lybarger against the cage and land some shot for a couple of minutes before going back to the middle of the cage. Markos scores a takedown into an ankle lock submission late in the round followed by some punches late going for the finish but time runs out. 10-9 Markos
Round 2: Standup battle to start the round with Jones-Lybarger getting the early advantage. Markos seems slower in R2 leading to a standup battle in the middle of the cage with 3 minutes left. Both fighters are now slowing down try to gauge the distance here going for a quick punch here or there to little effect. Markos is now using counter punching to land more significant punches to score this round in her favour. 10-9 Markos
Round 3: Jones-Lybarger on the offensive in the early going, looks to land something that will lead to a finish. Markos is playing defence here not giving Jones-Lybarger a chance to land more than a few punches. Standup battle in this round with Markos landing kicks while Jones-Lybarger sticking to punches. Both are trading punches here in the last minute of the fight with Markos stunning Jones-Lybarger late but she is able to fight back. Markos bleeding from the nose as the last ten seconds tick away. 10-9 Markos
Official decision - 30 - 27 and 29-28 x 2 for Randa Markos. Funny moment when Markos was thanking her team, she dropped an F bomb accidentaly to loud cheers by the crowd. “It was awesome, just hearing everyone cheer my name. At the beginning in the first round when I had her against the fence and hearing them call my name it gave me a boost.”
ELIAS THEODOROU (11-1, 3-1 UFC) VS. SAM ALVEY (26-7 1 NC, 3-2 UFC)
Round 1: Theodorou with some kicks early to start with Alvey just stepping back and closing the distance. Alvey's right leg is turning red from checking those kicks by Theodorou. Crowd getting impatient as not much action after 3 minutes. Theodorou not slowing down his pace but Alvey looks more than happy just playing defence here. Alvey tries to throw a kick at the end of the round and slips. It was that kind of round for him. 28-1 landed strikes in the round for Theodorou. 10-9 Theodorou
Round 2: Alvey looking to really be the agressor here switching from defence to offence just waiting for his opportunity and halfway through the round Alvey pins Theodorou against the cage. Both fighters are spending time against the cage using they clinch game but Theodorou is keeping busy still throwing punches to the side of Alvey. Referee resets them back to the middle with 90 seconds left. More of the same as the round wraps up. Hard to score this one a late jump kick by Theodorou should give him this round. 10-9 Theodorou
Round 3: More of the same in this round with Alvey lookng more frustrated than anything else at the pace Theodorou has set so far in this fight. The crowd is showering this fight with loud boos and catcalls as opposed to cheers. Alvey throws a punch and the crowd cheers. Theodorou is just looking to out point him here to get the decision judging by the clinch work against the cage with a minute left in the fight. Alvey throws some knees in the clinch before the fight gets reset in the middle of the cage. Theodorou is able to land a head kick late in the round but based on Octagon control I'll give it to Theodorou 10-9
Official decision - 30 - 27 x 2 and 29 - 28 for Elias Theodorou. Alvey quickly makes his way out of the cage in disgust. Theodorou - "He’s top 20 in the world and he can knock anyone’s block off at any time. He has 17 knockouts for a reason and I just made sure he didn’t touch me.”
Alvey - "“I hope the UFC keeps me. I would like to fight Oluwale Bamgbose because he beat the guy I was supposed to fight in February."
CHRIS BEAL (10-2, 2-2 UFC) VS. JOE SOTO (15-5, 0-3 UFC)
Round 1: Both fighters are more active here in the early going in a traditional standup battle to start. Both fighters are landing some nice shots here with Beal landing more. Beal landing some nice combos in the round but Soto is up for the challenge. 10-9 Beal.
Round 2: More of the same in this round but Soto is just playing defence in the first two minute. Brief exchange in the 3rd minute and Soto is starting to land more but Beal continues to tee off on Soto. This fights has awoken the crowd and now Soto is bleeding from a cut on the bridge of his nose. Fight goes to the ground with Soto getting Beal's back with a minute left. Soto looking for the rear naked choke and loses his position with 30 seconds left. Soto now on top throwing shoulders and knees to end the round. Soto 10-9 based on the late surge of Soto but easily could be given to Beal based on the damage he inflicted in this round.
Round 3: Good standup in the first minute but Beal is starting to slow down Soto landing some stiff punches 90 seconds in. Soto takes Beal's back with two minutes left and is trying for a choke, roll over and Soto is now raining punches. Beal rolls over and Soto goes in for the rear naked choke and taps out Beal late.
Official Decision - Soto wins via tapout via RNC @ 3:39 of R3. “Getting my first UFC win was hard hurdle to get over but I finally got over it. It’s going to make me a tougher fighter and a tougher person.”
TAMDAN MCCRORY (14-3, 4-3 UFC) VS. KRZYSZTOF JOTKO (17-1, 4-1 UFC)
Round 1: Both fighters sizing up each other in the early going with Jotko seemingly getting closer and closer to land a huge strike early. Jotko with a huge punch and McCrory is down 2 hammer fists later and the referee dives in to save it
Official Decision - Jotko KO @ 0:59 of R1. McCrory is slowly walking to the back with a small cut from the bridge of the nose likely from the hammer fists. Jotko - “I feel amazing on getting my first knockout in the UFC. I asked Joe Silva to give me a test because most of my fights have been decision after decision. Now, I feel that I have proved that I’m a good fighter and I can compete with top fighters.”
MISHA CIRKUNOV (11-2, 2-0 UFC) VS. ION CUTELABA (11-1 1 NC, 0-0 UFC)
Round 1: Both fighters are coming out swinging to start with Cirkunov landing a nice shot 30 seconds in. Cutelaba lands a shot that knocks down Cirkunov but he is able to get back to his feet before Cutelaba can do anything. Cutelaba with a takedown but Cirkunov able to get able in no time. The rest of the round was spent in a standup duel trying to land the next big shot. 10-9 Cirkunov.
Round 2: Cutelaba is doing a good job at closing the distance in the round not allowing Cirkunov time to land another stiff shot, he keeps landing and then avoiding the counter punch. Cutelaba is trying to land a spinning back fist over and over and Cirkunov is making him pay after the 2nd or 3rd one. Cutelaba is the more aggresive fighter in this round and he should win this round. 10-9 Cutelaba
Round 3: Superman punch by Cirkunov and that staggers Cutelaba. Takedown by Cirkunov and Cutelaba is bleeding from the right eye. Cirkunov working for a arm and triangle choke and he gets it
Official Decision - Cirkunov tapout via Arm Triangle Choke @ 1:22 of R3. "My whole life I wanted to be in the Olympics. The Olympics is a good dream, but the UFC is 10 times tougher than the Olympics. My whole life I wanted to go for a medal, but now I want to go for a belt. I know it’s a steep road and a big challenge, but I’m willing to take on the test."
JASON SAGGO (11-2, 2-1 UFC) VS. LEANDRO SILVA (19-3-1 1 NC, 3-2 1 NC UFC)
Round 1: Good kick to the stomach of Saggo by Silva at the one minute mark tat seemed to slow down Saggo early. Saggo with a takedown at the 2 minute mark as the crowd chants his name. Saggo trying to go from Side control to half guard and is working on passing the guard of Silva who is working well not to let that happen. Saggo landing some shots from above to open up Silva with one minute left. Silva makes it back to his feet with a minute left and we have a standup battle as the round wraps up. 10-9 Saggo
Round 2: Silva is working in a few kicks with his punches in this standup battle so far this round. Saggo with a nice head kick at the midway part of the round. For the last half of the round we get a back and forth stand up battle with neither fighter gaining an edge. Silva is the more aggresive of the two with a late takedown to seal it for him. 10-9 Silva
During the time between rounds, the crowd chants very loudly "We Want A/C" as it is quite warm here at TD Place Arena.
Round 3: Each fighter landed 41 strikes in the last round and we get more of the same so far. With a fight this close, both fighters are cautious for a bit but Saggo has landed a few combos with 3 minutes to go. Silva seems confused and is bleeding from the nose as he tries to answer the offense of Saggo. Takedown by Silva late with him going for the finish but Saggo looks comfortable fighting from the bottom. Saggo 10-9 in a close round that in my opinion should win him the fight but could easier go to Silva.
Official Decision: Saggo wins split decision (29-28, 28-29) “That was a hell of a tough fight. I’m glad that I came out on the winning end of a split decision for once. I thought I did enough in the third round. I won the first and I think he took the second. I just beat a guy who had 19 wins and two losses. So that was a great win for me. I love Ottawa. The crowd was one of the best I’ve ever seen. The support in Canada was incredible tonight. Thanks for all the support."
Silva - “This was a difficult fight. I don’t want to talk about the decision. He won. The judges gave him the win. Now I’m focused on coming back strong.”
#5 (STW) VALERIE LETOURNEAU (8-4, 3-1: UFC) VS. #12 (STW) JOANNE CALDERWOOD (10-1, 2-1 UFC)
This is the first flyweight fight in women's UFC history.
Round 1: Clinch work early in this fight going from the middle of the cage walking right to the fence with Letourneau in control early. Calderwood scores a takedown but Letourneau looks calm and controlled fighting off her back looking for the triangle. Spinning back fist stuns Letourneau and she goes down but Calderwood is unable to finish but she can very close. Back to a vertical base with under a minute to go. Both are slugging away in the final seconds and Calderwood is bleeding from the nose. 10-9 Calderwood due to the spinning back fist that almost won her the fight.
Round 2: Soccer chants flood the arena early on as both fighters are engaged in a very tough standup battle. Letourneau seems to be focusing on the nose of Calderwood getting the nose to bleed again. Calderwood scores another takedown and is in side control as Letourneau appears to be winded. Calderwood can't hold her down and both are back to their feet with 60 seconds left. Another takedown for Calderwood which should give her the round, a late spinning side kick to Letourneau should give Calderwood the round. 10-9 Calderwood
Round 3: Letourneau is mixing up more kicks to try and stop Calderwood's attacks. Body shot stuns Letourneau and Calderwood once again is going for a finish this time on the feet but Letourneau is able to recover. Calderwood is in a bad way after another body shot and turns her back to Calderwood. Calderwood continues to fight until a spinning back fist when Letourneau turns around is the end as Letourneau falls down and the referee stops the fight. On video replay it looks like those body shots were right in the ribs of Letourneau and repeated strikes there over the fight led to a victory for Calderwood.
Official Decision - Calderwod wins via TKO @ 2:51 of R3. During the post fight interview, Calderwood says that she will probably go back to fighting at 115. “There’s a lot of talent out there in the strawweight division, but I’ll fight whoever the UFC wants. All I ask is to get on shows. I asked to be on the Ottawa show."
OLIVIER AUBIN-MERCIER (7-2, 3-2 UFC) VS. THIBAULT GOUTI (11-1, 0-1 UFC)
Round 1: Aubin-Mercier and Gouti are not aftaid to throw the heavy strikes early in the first two minutes of the fight. Aubin-Mercier scores a takedown but can't complete as Gouti grabs the fence on the way down but loses grip of it before the referee can tell him anything and Aubin-Mercier is working in half guard. Less than two minutes left and Aubin-Mercier is working on getting the back of Gouti. A few moments later Gouti reverses it but it doesn't last long as we go back to the feet and a minute long standup battle ends the round with Gouti landing a few nice combos late. 10-9 Aubin-Mercier but could go either way
Round 2: A more aggresive Aubin-Mercier in this round trying for a takedown which gets stuffed and more shots lands put Gouti on the defensive. Aubin-Mercier with another takedown which is stuffed but Aubin-Mercier turns into a slam takedown halfway through the round. Both fighters are active on the ground as Aubin-Mercier is trying to pass guard. Gouti is in survival mode here denying Aubin-Mercier at every way in his guard even with Aubin-Mercier's corner right behind. Another close round 10-9 Aubin-Mercierr, but I would not be surprised if it's 19-19 at the end of 2 on some scorecards.
Round 3: Another takedown by Aubin-Mercier which leads to him getting the back in the first minute with both hooks in looking for the rear naked choke. Gouti rolls to the middle of the cage but Aubin-Mercier still has his hooks in. Gouti is trying to get out of the body lock but Aubin-Mercier is locked in tight, Aubin-Mercier gets the arm under the chin and Gouti immediately taps out.
Official Decision - OAM wins via tapout via RNC @ 2:28 of R3. “I feel good. I was in a pretty bad position in the first round. I’m happy that I was able to get out of that spot. It was a good fight against a really tough guy."
STEVE BOSSE (11-2, 1-1 UFC) VS. SEAN O'CONNELL (17-7, 2-3 UFC)
Round 1: Straight up slugfest between these two to start. Down goes Bosse and this fight is almost stopped but O'Connell can't seal the deal as Bosse is back to his feet with over 3 minutes to go. O'Connell is continuing this pace and Bosse is trying to keep up as we are now in a clinchfest with neither fighter able to get an advantage. One minute left and we are back in the middle both swinging for the fences. Round ends and the fans cheer for both fighters efforts. 10-9 O'Connell
Round 2: Bosse more aggresive to start and O'Connell bull rushes him into the cage for a clinch. This fight has slowed down in pace as we reach the halfway mark and as I say that Bosse stuns O'Connell and down he goes. Bosse going in for the win but can't finish at first and is able to keep O'Connell on his back. Both fighters are tired at this point but Bosse continues to rain hammer fists down, move into side control or half guard and try to stop the fight again and again. 10-9 Bosse
O'Connell is bleeding from the nose as the round ends and both fighters are winded on their stools.
Round 3: A minute in and we are back to the slugfest from the first round. Straight punches by O'Connell and punches and spinning back fists by Bosse are the story of this round with one minute to go. It seems like it will go to the scorecards or we might get a KO as both figters are slowing down, they slap hands with ten seconds left and just go back to a slugfest until Herb Dean stops the fight as the horn went off. Very close final round and I have it 10-9 Bosse.
Official Decision - 29-28 x 2 and 29 -27 for Steve Bosse. One judge gave Bosse a 10-8. I'm wondering which round that was.
Bosse - “I take that energy from the Canadian fans and use it to put on a better show. I think Sean received that energy, too. A big thank you to Sean O’Connell. The fans are the winners tonight."
O'Connell - “I’m obviously disappointed. I’m happy that we were able to put on a good fight for the fans. That’s a very close second priority for me. I always want to win first. I’m bummed I wasn’t able to thank these fans, wish my dad and grandfathers a happy Father’s Day and represent my friends and family better. I don’t know what this means. That’s two losses in a row and 2-4 in my UFC career. It’s very disappointing. I’ve got to reevaluate some things for my future."
#4 (LW) DONALD CERRONE (29-7 1 NC, 16-4 UFC) VS. PATRICK COTE (23-9, 10-9 UFC)
Round 1: Cerrone in control in the early going, getting Cote on his back but unable to inflict any serious damage. Cote able to defend well and get back to his feet. Cerrone with another takedown and more of the same as the first, Cote is very active on the ground here. Cerrone has his back and both hooks but Cote fights off a few rear naked choke attempts and is able to escape as time runs out in the first. 10-9 Cerrone
Round 2: Cerrone is lazer focused here when playing defence to the aggresive strikes of Cote. Cerrone is focusing on a stand up battle here in the 2nd and Cote is up for the challenge. Cote seems to be slowing down after absorbing a barrage of shots and down goes Cote. Cerrone tries to finish it but Cote recovers and Cerrone lets him back up. Another late combo by Cerrone and Cote fights back and tells Cerrone give me more. A few more punches and the horn sounds. 10-9 Cerrone
Round 3: Both fighters are trading shots to start the third and Cote goes down again but quickly recovers before Cerrone can go in for the finish. More of a standup battle and Cote is wobbled by a shot by Cerrone followed by another and down goes Cote for a third time. Cerrone starts to throw some hammer fists and the referee stops the fight.
Official Decision - Cerrone wins via TKO @ 2:35 of R3. With that stoppage, Cerrone most holds the record for most stoppages in UFC if you include his time in WEC with 15 During the post fight interview, he was asked if he'd prefer 155 and 170. His response "170 or 155 I don't give a s***".
#1 RORY MACDONALD (18-3, 9-3 UFC) VS. #2 STEPHEN THOMPSON (12-1, 7-1 UFC)
Round 1: MacDonald tries a rolling ankle submission which surprises Thompson but doesn't work. Both fighters are just getting their timing down in the early stages of this fight. Last minute in the round and they start to slug it out until Thompson gets MacDonald up against the fence. MacDonald brings the fight to the middle of the cage as the round ends. Based on Octagon control and aggresiveness I will say MacDonald 10-9
Round 2: Neither fighter wants to make a mistake in the early going, very cautious first two minutes of the fight. With two minutes left, MacDonald rushes Thompson to the cage but he is able to escape before getting clinched up. Both fighters will try to land a combo but the other will escape before suffering any damage. Lackluster round has the crowd booing as the horn goes off. 10-9 for MacDonald.
Round 3: Both fighters have picked up the pace in this round with MacDonald once again the aggresor and Thompson counter punching and avoiding MacDonald's strikes. MacDonald goes down trying to work from his back and almost gets a submission but Thompson is able to get free and we go back to the middle of the Octagon. Both are now landing more strikes which seems to somewhat wake up the crowd. More boos rain down as the round comes to an end. MacDonald 10-9 based on Octagon Control.
Round 4: Thompson is the more aggresive fighter early in the round and MacDonald looks to be lining up something but Thompson is too quick for MacDonald to land anything. This round is different as for every shot MacDonald lands, Thompson will land two. Nice kick to the stomach by Thompson with under 2 minutes left. Someone lost a mouthpiece and the referee just throws it out of the cage, looks to be MacDonalds. That's the end of the round to again more boos from the crowd. 10-9 Thompson
Round 5: MacDonald is bleeding from the nose, looks to be suffered in the 4th round. Thompson has outlanded MacDonald 2-1 in significant strikes after 4 rounds. Here comes MacDonald with a flurry 90 seconds in but Thompson just walks away. Kick by Thompson to McDonald's nose and the blood has increased. MacDonald is looked gassed here and tries to take down Thompson but Thompson lands on top with two minutes left. Thompson lets MacDonald ip with 90 seconds left and now MacDonald's left ear is bleeding as well. MacDonald trying to get one more combo before the horn sounds but it could be too late. I have it 48-47 MacDonald but I'm predicting Thompson will win this fight by that score instead of MacDonald.
Official Decision - 50-45 x 2 and 48-47 for Stephen Thompson
Those close rounds early on went to Thompson instead of MacDonald apparently. Thompson wants the winner of Lawler and Woodley and wants that fight to happen in New York. MacDonald says he was at his best tonight, but it wasn't enough. Could this be MacDonald's last fight in the UFC? Only time will tell.
Thompson - "I feel great. I expected it to be more of a war. I didn’t think Rory would be ready for my angles and speed. When I met him in the middle, as soon as I saw his stance I could tell this would be a chess match."
MacDonald - “It was a hard fight, man. I came in the best shape of my life. I was at my best. I can’t take anything away from Stephen. He's a tricky guy."
After 40 rounds of action, that’s a wrap on UFC Fight Ottawa aka UFC Fight Night 89. Thanks for reading and I hope everyone enjoyed the coverage. Never leave it to the judges and Go Leafs Go.